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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chinese in Talks With Coal Miners

ReutersA worker operating a dredge at a mine in Siberia. Chinese investors may help develop Siberian infrastructure.

Chinese investors are in talks with Russian coal miners to develop reserves and infrastructure in Siberia and the Far East, the Energy Ministry said Friday.

China, hungry for coal to fuel its growing economy, also wants to participate in several projects to develop untapped reserves on Sakhalin, the ministry said in a statement.

“Both sides are interested in long-term supplies of coal to China,” Konstantin Alexeyev, director of the ministry’s coal and peat industry department, said in a statement to mark the visit to Russia by a Chinese delegation.

“Issues raised during talks included Chinese participation in exploiting coal deposits, development of transport infrastructure and supplying coal for export,” Alexeyev said.

The ministry said talks had focused on joint development of coal fields on Sakhalin and the construction of rail links and an export terminal to allow shipments from the island best known for its offshore oil and gas reserves.

Chinese firms would also continue talks with United Industrial on development of the Elegest deposit in the republic of Tuva, the ministry said.

It said Mechel, the country’s largest producer of coking coal for the steel industry, would negotiate with Chinese companies on construction of transport that would allow the export of coal from its massive Elga deposit in Yakutia.

The ministry did not name any Chinese companies.

Alexeyev said Russia was also trying to attract Chinese investment to the western Siberian coal-mining region of Kemerovo and the republic of Buryatia, which borders Mongolia.

“The next round of meetings, on concrete issues of cooperation, is planned in the near future,” the ministry said.